Hundreds gathered outside a southern Brooklyn congresswoman’s office on Saturday to protest her objection to two states’ election results — arguing that the voter fraud theories she propagates helped instigate the Jan. 6 insurrection of the Capitol.
“Nicole Malliotakis took an oath. Within 72 hours, she sold us out,” said Bay Ridge Councilman Justin Brannan. “This isn’t about politics; it’s about your moral fiber as a person.”
Malliotakis, who also represents Staten Island, spent her first days in Congress voting against the certification of Pennsylvania’s and Arizona’s presidential ballots because of alleged voter fraud. She joined the majority of House Republicans in her objection, and said she did so to spur a “proper hearing” into the allegations.
“I voted against certification of the two challenged states not to ‘overturn an election’ but to highlight need for a proper hearing into unconstitutional rule changes, irregularities and alleged fraud,” she wrote on Twitter on Jan. 7. “I swore an oath to the Constitution and REFUSED to turn a blind eye.”
Many of the fraud allegations argue that states’ COVID-19 voter accommodations could have allowed for forgery. Since the Nov. 3 election, President Donald Trump’s administration has launched 60 court challenges based on the theories, but judges have tossed all but one case because of lacking evidence.
During the Jan. 9 protest outside Malliotakis’ Bay Ridge office, seven elected officials from across the city blasted the congresswoman for continuing to election challenges even after the insurrection of the Capitol, and said she must either vote to impeach the president or resign.
“She must vote to either support the 25th Amendment removal of President Trump — because he is completely and utterly unfit, as so many of us have known — and if not, to vote to impeach him. That is what she needs to do,” said Boerum Hill assemblywoman and borough president candidate, Jo Anne Simon. “And if she doesn’t do that, we need to make sure that she goes.”
Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus — who has worked alongside Malliotakis in the state legislature — said that the former Staten Island assemblywoman’s behavior betrays her personality.
“I sat down and had coffee with Nicole Malliotakis, we’ve enjoyed pleasantries. She’s a nice lady. What is going on Nicole? What is going on?” Frontus said.
Meanwhile, more than 300 protesters chanted and cheered during the remarks of other speakers, including Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, City Councilman and borough president candidate Antonio Reynoso, Councilman Brad Lander, and state Sen. Diane Savino.
Later, a handful of local activists stepped up the megaphone, taking a more searing tone.
In her remarks, Linda Sarsour, a Bay Ridge activist who helped organized the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, DC, implicitly blamed Democratic incumbent Max Rose for Malliotakis’ victory.
“There’s another person to blame and other people to blame outside of Nicole Malliotakis, because how did Nicole Malliotakis get in there in the first place?” said Sarsour. “If we actually had candidates who were running against her who were standing in their convictions and principles … we wouldn’t even be in this situation.”
Attendees cheered and waved signs reading “Blood on your hands,” and “Impeach or resign.” But, one longtime Bay Ridge resident, who attended the protest alone, said he didn’t think it was realistic to insist Malliotakis resign.
“I don’t think she’s going to resign; nobody’s going to resign,” said Bill, who declined to give his last name. “It’s going to be up to the people to push her out.”
The pressure on Malliotakis has not faltered since her election result challenge. At least two petitions have circulated calling on the New York Congressional Delegation to expel the congresswoman, and protest attendees vowed to continue pushing for Malliotakis’ resignation.
“I think that she’s despicable. Her stance is to show loyalty to Trump at all costs,” said Bay Ridge resident Eleanor Baylor. “The only thing that can be done is for the community to put pressure on her.”
In a statement, Malliotakis thanked her constituents for exercising their First Amendment rights.
“I support every American’s right to peaceful protest and thank them as well as the countless constituents who have reached out to thank me for upholding my oath and taking a strong stand for election integrity,” she said.
Correction [Jan. 11, 2021]: A previous version of this article said Jo Anne Simon was a City Council member. She is actually a member of the state Assembly. We regret the error.